Monday, July 30, 2012

Woe Ye False Teachers

Good Monday Morning To You! I sure hope your past week was all you hade hoped it would be. All is well here. It has finally stopped raining, but my yard was under water in some spots. I pray that the rain we had has at least moved into areas in desparate need.

This past week has pretty much been uneventful. With the exception of my riding mower which refuses to start, (again,) about the most exciting thing we have done is watch the grass grow. Boy has it grown! All the rain we had seems to have awakened my lawn to new life. Bess and I have a friend who has a lawn mowing business, but I learned the other day that he is out of town on vacation. Does anyone have a cow we could borrow? Our yard would feed her well for a good while. I don’t remember the last time Miss Bessie milked a cow, but I’m sure she could do it.

The service at Friendship Harmony was awesome! The attendance was good, and there was a good spirit in the service. We sang Fannie Crosby songs. The plan was to do an entire service using her music, but there were so many to choose from that it was impossible to select some, and eliminate others. So, we will sing Fannie’s hymns again next week. Did you know she wrote over 5000 songs? Did you also know that there are songs in your hymnal written by her under a different name? I don’t know her reasoning for that, but she wrote under several “pen names” as well as her own.

I continued our series with the book of Jude. We looked at verses 8-11, where Jude continues his stand against the false teachers that had infiltrated the church of his day. Unfortunately, we still have them with us. Therefore, Jude’s warnings and admonitions are just as “on target” today as they were 2000 years ago. Below are the sermon notes. Please feel free to use them in your personal Bible study. Teachers and preachers are welcome to use them as well. I’m honored that anybody would want to. Hopefully soon, you’ll be able to follow the notes and see and hear the actual message. That way you can get the “filler” that is not in the notes. We are only about a third of the way through our receiving of offerings to begin our online video ministry. If you could see your way clear to help with a gift of any size, please send it to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church; 2296 Date Street; St. James City, Florida 33956. Please mark on your check, “video ministry.” I’ll be meeting with some people this Thursday who are able to help guide us through the process.

Woe Ye Deceivers
Jude v 8-11
Encouragement From Jude Series
7/23, 25-28/12
By Victor W. Cooper

Intro: In this section Jude cites three more examples of those who were rebellious and how it exemplified the false teachers of his, and our day.

What the false teachers were teaching --- licentiousness and the denial of Christ’s authority.
Licentiousness says that since the grace of God covers all sin, it is alright to give into fleshly desires; they are covered. This is known as a license to sin. Nowhere in Scripture does God give permission to abuse grace in this manner.

I. v8 Jude speaks of the false teachers of his day.
A. “Likewise” --- “just like the three groups of verses 5-7.”
B. “… these filthy dreamers…” --- the false teachers
C. They:
1. defiled the flesh just like Sodom and Gomorrah.
2. despised dominion just like The Children of Israel.
3. spoke evil of dignities just like the fallen angels.

II. V9 The great debate.
A. Logical questions.
1. What led to the dispute?
2. Could Michael have accused Satan?
3. Why didn’t he?
B. Logical answers
1. The Matthew Henry Commentary suggests that it was over the burial of Moses body. Satan wanted the location made known to the public knowing many in Israel would worship the site as holy.
2. Yes, he certainly had grounds to.
3. Scenario 1 --- Had Michael accused, it would have been opinion, no matter how correct. When God accuses/rebukes, it is an unarguable fact.
Scenario 2 --- Had Michael accused, it would have been outside the power of God.
It would have been, “I rebuke you,” vs. God rebukes you.”
Scenario 3 --- Michael’s invitation of God’s rebuke was accusation enough.

III. The false teachers further exposed.
Bible Knowledge Commentary --- Whereas Michael did not dare accuse the devil, these apostates, by contrast spoke abusively against what they did not understand. The apostates’ only “reasoning” was like that of unreasoning animals. Rather than comprehending what was above them (the angels), they really understood only what was below them (the animals). Jude thus demolished their Gnostic claim to superior knowledge…

IV. Three more examples of what the false teachers were like.
A. The way of Cain: three possibilities, or a combination thereof.
1. Cain devised his own way of worship.
[a] God had not yet decreed the sacrificial system, so what he offered was not the problem.
[b] It was how he offered. It was a heart problem.
2. Cain was envious. Remember envy is one of the seven deadly sins.
3. Cain hated with a murderous spirit.
1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
B. The error of Balaam, from Numbers 22.
1. Balaam portrayed himself as a servant of God.
2. He encouraged others to sin while seeking personal monetary gain from their error.
[a] This is greed, and it too is one of the seven deadly sins.
3. The false teachers of Jude’s day were doing similarly.
C. Korah’s rebellion from Numbers 16.
1. Korah led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, denying God had given them authority over the children of Israel.
2. The denial was actually a denial of God’s authority to choose whomever He desired to lead Israel.
3. The false teachers Jude wrote concerning did the same.

Remember what the false teachers were teaching --- licentiousness and the denial of Christ’s authority.
4. The false teacher’s destruction was so sure that Jude wrote it in the past tense.

Conclusion: If you see yourself on the road traveled by Cain, Balaam, and Korah, get off that road --- you‘re going toward destruction. If you recognize someone else traveling that highway, take a stand and make it known. False teachers must be stopped!.

I hope you have a really good week. I’d really love to hear from you. Why not send me a e-mail and let me know how you’re doing. I really enjoy hearing from you. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, July 23, 2012

"Why Did He Shoot Those Innocent People?"

Good Monday Morning To You!
By now you have heard about the massacre of innocent people in Colorado. The Friendship Harmony Baptist Church extends its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those killed, as well as to the people of Aurora, Colorado. Our prayers for healing are for those who were injured. Also to be considered is the emotional toll that will linger long after the wounds are healed. We pray God’s Spirit of comfort will find a lodging place in the hearts of those affected, and that through this dark tragedy, the light of God’s love will be received by many.

In a time like this people are asking, “Why?” The answer is theological in scope. This is just another case in a long series of events where fallen man is doing what fallen man does best --- sin. When Adam fell in the Garden, he put mankind on a downhill slide to ruin, decay, and destruction. If it were not for the grace of God, man would be utterly hopeless, helpless, and lost. Man, with his fallen nature, can on his own do no better. It is just as natural for man to sin as it is for a dog to bark or for an eagle to fly. Therefore, God must change man’s nature; man cannot change it himself. The Psalmist prayed in Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. In Ezekiel 36:26, God declares He will do just that. He says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Jesus Christ’s freely shed blood is the cleansing agent God uses to restore man to a right standing with Himself. However, it is not automatic, nor is the entire human race brought back because Christ died for fallen man. Adam’s fall gave me the propensity to sin, but I did so of my own choice. Therefore I can only repent for myself. Each individual must trust Christ for themselves; God does not save the entire human population at once. Maybe you feel an inner struggle warring within your soul. You feel no peace. Jesus Christ offers you the way out of that state of being hopeless, helpless, and lost. Let me know if I can help you find your peace with God.

Yesterday was a fine day at Friendship Harmony. You can gauge the spiritual health of a Church by what happens after the congregation is dismissed. Are they in a hurry to get out to their cars? At Friendship Harmony, no one is in a big hurry to leave. The folk will stand around and fellowship with each other. This is a sign of spiritual vitality. I’m so glad we have it.
The message was from Jude verses 5 through 7. Jude continues to deal with the doctrine of the false teachers that have infiltrated the Church. Here are the notes for your Bible study.

Actions Have Consequences! ©
Jude v.5-7
By Victor Cooper
Encouragement From Jude 07/18-21/12

Intro: Today, we will look at three examples of three very blessed groups who decided to do things their own way. Our free will gives us the opportunities to do the same, but Jude is showing how all actions have consequences, and that some deeds are simply not worth it when judgment starts.

I. Remember, Jude is addressing two false teachings that have been introduced to the Church.
A. Lasciviousness --- the teaching that says that the flesh must be satisfied no matter what, and that the grace of God covers it, therefore it is a license for one to do as one pleases.
Bible Knowledge Commentary: Claiming liberty in Christ, they interpreted His grace as license to do what their flesh desired with no inhibitions. Their libertinism turned grace into barbarous licentiousness.
B. Denial of Jesus as God ---
Bible Knowledge Commentary Not surprisingly, this perversion in practice (libertinism) was accompanied by a perversion in doctrine—a denial of the person and authority of Jesus Christ.

II. Jude called to remembrance three examples of rebellion against God.
A. Those who were led out of Israel
B. The fallen angels
C. The area around and including Sodom and Gomorrah

III. Jude also calls to remembrance the consequences of each group‘s actions..
Matthew Henry Commentary Outward privileges, profession, and apparent conversion, could not secure those from the vengeance of God, who turned aside in unbelief and disobedience. The destruction of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness, shows that none ought to presume on their privileges. They had miracles as their daily bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. A great number of the angels were not pleased with the stations God allotted to them; pride was the main and direct cause or occasion of their fall. The fallen angels are kept to the judgment of the great day; and shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Consider this in due time. The destruction of Sodom is a loud warning to all, to take heed of, and flee from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, 1 Peter 2:1
A. The Exodus Jews --- all die (except Joshua and Caleb.)
1. They saw the first Passover; the slaying of the firstborn.
2. They saw the pillars of cloud and fire.
3. They ate the manna and drank the water that came forth from the rock.
4. They saw the radiance on Moses’ face after his encounter with God.
5. With all they saw God do for them, they rebelled.
(a) Rebellion is turning from God when you know better.
(b) Rebellion is the opposite of repentance.
B. The fallen angels
1. They had been in God’s presence.
2. They “…left their own habitation…” They chose to do something other than what God had assigned.
Adam Clarke Commentary The angels which kept not their first estate—Their own principality. The words may be understood of their having invaded the office or dignity of some others, or of their having by some means forfeited their own. This is spoken of those generally termed the fallen angels; but from what they fell, or from what cause or for what crime, we know not. It is generally thought to have been pride; but this is mere conjecture. One thing is certain; the angels who fell must have been in a state of probation, capable of either standing or falling, as Adam was in paradise. They did not continue faithful, though they knew the law on which they stood; they are therefore produced as the second example.
3. Point of conjecture --- it is supposed that these were the “sons of God” who intermarried with the “daughters of men” in Genesis 6:1-7 (read)
4. Jude was quoting from the Book of Enoch which apparently the early Church knew well and quite possibly accepted.
(Read from Chapter 7 in The Book of Enoch)

The Book of Enoch Chapter 7

1It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful.
2And when the angels, (3) the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
3Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise;
4And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime.
5But they answered him and said; We all swear;
6And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.
7Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, (4) which is the top of mount Armon.
8That mountain therefore was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, (5) and bound themselves by mutual execrations.
9These are the names of their chiefs: Samyaza, who was their leader, Urakabarameel, Akibeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Saraknyal, Asael, Armers, Batraal, Anane, Zavebe, Samsaveel, Ertael, Turel, Yomyael, Arazyal. These were the prefects of the two hundred angels, and the remainder were all with them. (6)
10Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees.
11And the women conceiving brought forth giants.
12Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. (375 feet tall) These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them;
13When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them;
14And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, (8) and to drink their blood.
15Then the earth reproved the unrighteous.

C. Sodom and Gomorrah and territories.
1. The Pulpit Commentary
(1) These were personal sins of a heinous character. They were sins against both soul and body. (No whoremonger shall enter the kingdom of God 1 Corinthians 6:9), and fornication is a sin “against the body itself” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
(2) They were social sins. They affect the family and society.
(3) They were sacrilegious sins. The body, which is a temple of the Holy Ghost, (1 Corinthians 6:15). allows its members to become those of a harlot .

IV. Jude taught a three fold problem
A. Historical - he said, “Do you remember the exodus?” Unbelief prevailed where blessings had abounded.
B. Theological - “Do you remember the fallen angels?” Dissatisfaction with God’s will was the problem.
C. Life Style - “Do you remember Sodom and Gomorrah?” Their problem; hatred of God’s design for morality and proper living.

Conclusion: The three examples from centuries ago sound strangely modern. They might even hit close to home. Do you perhaps find yourself on one these avenues? Matthew 7:13 says, “ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:”
Remember: Rebellion is turning from God while repentance is turning to God. Which will you choose?

I wish to add a disclaimer here. The inclusion of a portion of The Book of Enoch in no way should be construed as a view that this book is inspired Scripture. However, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Jude quoted it several times in his writing. Therefore it must be given respectful consideration.

Have a good week and stay safe. Keep your eyes open to all possibilities and be aware of your surroundings. I want each of you to be out of harm’s way. However, don’t let the events of the past week deter you from going out and enjoying the life God has given you. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, July 16, 2012

On The Journey With Jude

Good Monday Morning To You!

It sure is soggy here. We’ve had more rain than any group of people deserves. It is our rainy season, but even by our standards it seems to be wetter than usual. Our temps here are nice, but I know many of you have had 100 degrees or more on your thermometers for quite awhile. I like hot weather, but that would be a bit much. I’d send you some of our rain if I could, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

I’d like to report to you that we are beginning to receive donations for our video ministry. Our goal is $500. We are nearly one third of the way there! To those who have sent donations, let me say “thank you.” I do not know who gives and how much. Our treasurer and his team wisely shield me from the responsibility of knowing who gives. I do not think the Pastor should know information like that. Even on Sunday when the offering is received, I lower my head and do not watch. Again though, if you have sent a donation, it is greatly appreciated. If you plan to, but haven’t done so yet, please consider doing it soon. The sooner we purchase the equipment, the sooner we can bring Friendship Harmony right into your home. Even more important, soon we can reach out to believers and non believers all over the world. Besides the United States, this blog is being read by people in Canada, Greece, Brazil, Russia, Australia, India, and several other countries. Our largest group (other than the U.S.) is China. When I first started preaching back in 1972, I didn’t dare even dream of reaching so far. The Lord had other plans, and I believe that the Apostles would have made full use of every means available in spreading the Gospel. I can see it now, “Monday Morning With Peter, James, and John.”

If you can send a gift of any size, please send it to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church; 2296 Date Street; St. James City, Florida 33956. Be sure to mark on your check “video” so that the finance committee knows where to direct it.

We all learned a new song yesterday. It is called, “’Tis Burning In My Soul.” Do you know it? None of us had ever heard it before, but the words were really good. Karan Berry played through it once for us, and it was an easy song to learn. We plan to sing it again next week, so that we learn it well. If your church is like ours, there are many good songs in the hymnal we do not know. Sometime it is a blessing to learn a new one. Our “new one” was written in 1858, but it was new to us. Perhaps if you are a Minister of Music you might try adding in an unknown song on occasion - it was a real blessing for us.

Yesterday I continued our expository journey through Jude. I preached verses 3 and 4, “Common Salvation.” Please understand that the term common salvation does not mean that salvation is ordinary, mundane, or trite. It means that each of us who are saved were saved the same way; we have that in common. I’ve put the notes on here for your use in your Bible Study, Sunday School class, or teaching of God’s word. Hopefully soon, you will be able to see and hear the message being delivered while you follow along with your notes. Granted I look better on radio than I do on video, but so much more is added in the actual sermon as it is being delivered. The notes will be more helpful when you can get the entire message, and the “feel” of it. I hope they are a blessing to you.

Common Salvation ©
Jude v 3,4
By Victor Cooper
Encouragement From Jude
Series 7/10,12,13,14?12

Intro: What is so common about salvation? Jude wanted to speak of it, but the infiltration of false teachers into the church necessitated that he address that issue.

I. v2 “ …gave all diligence…” his desire
A. Common Salvation
1. We are all saved the same way.
(a.) Admitting to being a sinner
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
(b.) Believing and receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
(c.) Confess Christ
Romans 10:9 / 1 John 4:15 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. / Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
2. Your salvation is not inferior or superior to mine. How we were saved is what wee have in common.
3. Peoples stories differ about how they came to Christ.
B. “…earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”
1. Stick with what the Bible teaches.
“Love God’s Word. Love it more than life itself. Peter confessed to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Read God’s Word.
Study God’s Word.
Accept God’s Word.
Don’t rationalize it,
Don’t editorialize it,
Don’t spiritualize it,
Don’t marginalize it,
Don’t neutralize it.”
Pastor Vic Cooper 2008

II. V3 “…crept in unawares…”
A. Sneaked in by deceit.
B. Sneaked in by church sleepiness.
C. Sneaked in by church apathy
D. Sneaked in by church sissiness. …

III. “… turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness…”
A. Called libertinism.
Bible Knowledge Commentary
The intrusion of the libertines refers to outsiders who would poison the church and who should be rejected. These apostates were not followers of Christ who had erred, but intruders who did not belong and who sought to wreck the believers’ faith.
Claiming liberty in Christ, they interpreted His grace as license to do what their flesh desired with no inhibitions. Their libertinism turned grace into barbarous licentiousness. These antinomians declared that since the flesh was not created by God, it was proper to give in to its desires. Not surprisingly, this perversion in practice was accompanied by a perversion in doctrine—a denial of the person and authority of Jesus Christ.

IV. “…denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
A. Denying that Jesus is the Son of God.
B. Remember from John 4:15, Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Conclusion: Jude wanted to speak of more spiritually pleasant things, but the seriousness of the problem caused by the false teachers had to be dealt with. All God’s children must be on guard against those who teach the Bible falsely, or out and out deny its legitimacy as God’s inspired perfect word.

I do hope you have a good and pleasant week. Try to stay cool, and if you have any health issues, please let good common sense be your guide. I really want to see all of you again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sharing Some Time With Jude

Good Monday Morning To You!

Set your breakfast on the table and let’s eat and chat. My favorite breakfast is fried eggs, bacon and biscuit and gravy. I don’t like just any biscuits; I like mom’s. Everybody that knows her knows she makes the best home made biscuits around. They do not come from a tube, or a freezer bag. They are hand mixed, and “hand squashed” as Christian comedian Jerry Clower used to say. I like good gravy, but on occasion I like red-eye gravy. I had planned to ask mom to make some last month when I was in Cincy to see her, but my cardiologist got wind of it and threatened bad things if she did. For those of you who know what red-eye gravy is, you perfectly understand. For those of you who don’t, Google it. It’s definitely country eatin’. I Googled it to make sure it was there, and they linked me to Wikipedia.

After last week’s blog, many at church asked me if I brought my gun with me. Several asked, “Did that really happen?” The answer is yes it actually happened, but no I did not bring my gun to church. I really did have a stare down with a vicious critter with a loaded .41 by my side. I’m definitely a good shot. I could shoot the tail off a no-see-um at twenty five yards, but fortunately I did not have to. For those of you who might not have read last week’s Monday Morning blog, stop here and scroll down and read it. I’ll say no more, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

I was also asked by a very dear friend and colleague about the planned video outreach. He is as excited about it as I am, and has pledged some financial support. As I’ve said, the Lord has burdened my heart about reaching out through the internet to broadcast the morning message. The exact details are still being worked on, but the next step is purchasing the necessary equipment. We need a digital video camera with good sound capabilities. The cost is somewhere in the $300-$500 range. I wish more of you would come along beside us in this venture. If you could, send a check for any amount to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church; 2296 Date Street; St. James City, Florida; 33956. On your check mark “video.” The quicker we get the camera, the quicker we go online. If we receive more than we need, we will be able to upgrade our computer equipment to be more video friendly. I’m told Apple laptops are the way to go. For now, though, we need that digital video camera. I’m not used to asking for money like a radio preacher, but how else would you know? Besides, for those who donate, you become part of it, and God will reward you for it. In my life I’ve discovered you cannot out give God. Please pray about your gift and send it very soon. We need to reach all we can. Right now Monday Morning With Pastor Vic is reaching 9100 homes. I believe with the adding of good quality video, we can far exceed that number.

It sounds like a broken record, but yesterday was another great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good, and the service was exceptional. We sang a congregational song called, “Count Your Blessings.” We sang it “Gratitude style.” That is where you sing a verse then the director stops and calls upon someone to share a blessing. The second verse is sung and then someone else is called on. The song continues that way until the last verse is sung and the director asks if anyone has a blessing to share. Not only is it a good testimony time, but since no one knows who will be called on, everybody starts thinking about received blessings. It’s a fine way of worship.

The morning message came from Jude verses one and two. We looked at Jude’s statement of mercy, peace, and love. We discovered that he didn’t just list these, but did so in a specific order. Mercy is first, followed by peace. You can have no real peace outside God’s mercy. Love then follows peace. You cannot truly love if you have no peace. The sermon notes are below. I hope they are a blessing to you. When we go video, you’ll be able to actually see and hear the message and follow with the notes. Hopefully that becomes a reality soon.

Mercy, Peace, and Love
Jude v1,2
Encouragement From Jude Series 7/5-7/12
By Victor W. Cooper

Intro: Jude, the half brother of Jesus, writes a short letter of encouragement and warning. He is warning about false teachers and wrong doctrine. False teaching has been a threat to the church since the days of Jude, and his words are still relevant today.

I. Mercy
A. Not receiving from God that which one deserves.
1. In our sin we deserved punishment.
2. God’s punishment is eternal Matthew says it is a place of darkness. Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
3. He also says it is a furnace of fire. Matthew 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
(a) The logical question becomes, “Doesn’t a fire give off some light? How can it be a place of total darkness if fire illuminates?”
(b) The answer is a phenomenon known as black fire
Cited by
Black Fire -- This term has only recently been officially recognized. This describes a situation where HEAVY, dense, black smoke is being emitted by a fire. This smoke will be of high velocity, turbulent, high volume, and extremely dense. It will also be hot. For all practical purposes, this is a dense superheated cloud of fuel that is too rich to ignite. The smoke may be doing as much damage as fire. It can (but not always) be a sign of eminent flashover. Old time fire fighters have known of this for years.
4. Luke also gives a ghastly picture.
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
B. Our sin had to be judged. God’s righteousness would allow for nothing less.
C. A believer’s sins were placed on Christ and He bore the punishment. That is mercy
D. It is also grace; receiving from God that which one does not deserve - forgiveness, and a future with Jesus Christ.

II. Following mercy is peace.
A. You cannot have peace without mercy. You cannot have peace when your soul is stirred with sin.
B. Paul tells us that in our sin we were an enemy to the cross. Philip. 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
C. A sinner might be thinking, “I don’t see myself as God’s enemy.”
D. You might not, but God does.
Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
E. God’s people are promised peace.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.
1. David testified that he had peace.
Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
F. The Bible calls it an unexplainable peace. Philip. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

III. After mercy and peace comes love. You cannot love if you have no peace. You can have no peace if you have not received God’s mercy.
Definition of love: Doing right by someone.
A. You can love God.
1. How can one do right by God?
2. Two ways: by trusting Him and following Him.
Hebrews 11:6 /Ezekiel 20:19 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. / I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
B. You can love fellow believers. Jude 1:21-22 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. [22] And of some have compassion, making a difference:
1. Note the progression; love for God, then love for others.
2. An unrighteous lawyer agreed.
Luke 10:27-28 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said untohim, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Note: Jesus told him his answer was right!
REMEMBER: Pity says, “I feel sorry for you.” Compassion (v22) says, “I feel sorry for you and here is what I can do to help.”
C. You can love the unsaved.
Remember, love means doing right by someone.
Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
A. You can love someone without liking what they do, or even liking them for that matter.
B. Modernists say you should never scare someone into Heaven. Jude begs to differ.
1. A sinner needs to be reminded of the reality of Hell.
2. False teachers will tell you that hell is not real. Jesus warned about Hell more than He taught about Heaven.

Conclusion: Have you received God’s mercy? Is there peace in your soul? Do you love in the Biblical manner, by doing right by others? It starts with mercy. You must take that step before you take the next.

Thank you for allowing me to spend these few minutes whoever you are. One of my greatest joys is meeting with you through this blog. I hope it blesses you as much as it does me. Stay safe and well this week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Marshal Victor Cooper Saves The Day!

Good Monday Morning To You. Thanks for letting me drop by for a brief visit. I enjoy our time together! I trust you had a good week, and that all is well. Sit back and have a cup of coffee or a glass of juice with me. Boy, have I got a story to tell you!

First of all, our house is out in the woods. We’re back so far that the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry doesn’t get here until Tuesday. We share these woods with lots of different critters. There are snakes, bobcats, coyotes, and wild hogs, just to name a few. Most of the time they stay to themselves, but I did have to shoot a snake the other day. Last Thursday night our daughter, Michele, took the boys out at about 10:00 pm. The boys are our two Miniature Schnauzers. After less than thirty seconds she came back in and told us a large animal was out there and she hurried the dogs back in. It was bedtime, so Miss Bessie and I decided we’d take the boys out. She would take the leashed dogs, and I’d take my pistol. I have a western holster hanging on the head of my bed with a loaded .41 magnum in it, just like a good cowboy would. We went out, and sure enough, in the corner of our neighbors yard across the street, was something large. While she handled the boys, I stood facing this beast with the pistol at my side. I locked my eyes on it and stared it down daring it to move. It stood still, but I considered firing a warning shot to scare it off; I was about twenty five yards from it. I decided not to shoot, because I figured it was possibly someone’s dog and was scared and meant no harm. Since it did not seem threatening, I continued to stare it down until Bess, Frazier, and Bubba went into the house. I then very slowly, and with deliberate caution backed up the five steps expecting the creature to lunge. I was glad it ended peacefully. I was also glad the neighbors had their garage light on. It provided enough illumination to see that something was there, but we could not make out what it was.

The next morning, I went out to see if there were tracks of any kind. We live on dirt roads, so tracking is quite easy. There were none. That night we took the boys out again, and “our friend” had returned. He was standing in the same spot. I knew we’d be safe though, because Marshal Cooper had his trusty Smith and Wesson with him. This cowboy is deadly at twenty five yards. Again it ended without incident. Praise the Lord!

On Saturday morning I went out again and there in the daylight I saw our menacing foe. It was a little white yard sign that a fertilizer spraying company had put in their yard. That’s right. Pastor Vic had a stare down with a little, cheap, cardboard sign. Not only that, but as I said, I considered shooting it. Cowboy Cooper was going to shoot the neighbors innocent little paper sign. Needless to say, I had one of those moments where you tell yourself, “You’re an idiot!” What can I say? If you’re ever having trouble with a potential deadly little sign, call me. I’ll keep it at bay and you safe.

Yesterday was another tremendous service at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good, and it truly was a joy to have been in the house of the Lord. I preached a message titled, “Promise Fulfilled - Guaranteed!" In it I brought a message from an event in the life of Abraham. I gave the following four points: God gave a promise; Faith believed it; Hope anticipated it; and God delivered it. The notes are below. I hope they are a blessing to you.

Promise Fulfilled - Guaranteed!
By Victor Cooper
(adapted-main pts.)

Intro: From the life of Abraham we learn how God’s promises come with guaranteed fulfillment. How did it work for Abraham? We will examine how it worked in his life, and how it can work in yours.

I. God gives a promise. Genesis 17:1-8.
A. v2. “I will make a covenant with you.”
B. vv4-6a “I will make you the father of many nations.” cf.vv20,21
C. v6b “Kings will descend from you.”
D. v7 “Mine is an everlasting covenant.
1. Called unconditional, or unilateral. God is simply saying, “No matter what you do, this is what I will do.”
2. Salvation is an unconditional covenant.
E. What promise (s) has God given you lately?

II. God gives a promise; faith believes it.
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
A. Sometime the promise seems a bit far fetched.
1. A promised son to a couple beyond child bearing years. Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
2. Abraham’s faith was not the catalyst for righteousness, but was the result of righteousness.
B. Has God’s promises to you become more than an illusion?

III. God gives a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it.
Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
A. He waited for it. The Greek word means he accepted the fact and expected it.
B. It wasn’t just any city he waited for. He wasn’t going to accept the first one to come along.
Genesis 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
C. Have you accepted less than God’s promise to you? Have you quit looking altogether?

IV. God gives a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it. God delivers it.
A. The promise is fulfilled. Genesis 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
B. The promise is challenged. Genesis 22:1-2 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. [2] And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

C. The promise is hung on to. Genesis 22:7-8 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? [8] And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
D. The promise pays off.
1. The Jews are a real people descended from Abraham.
2. The Arabs are a real people descended from Abraham.
3. The Messiah is a real person descended from Abraham.
E. Have you seen a promise of God to you fulfilled lately? If not, do you believe it as if it already has?

In closing, let me say that we are still receiving donations for our online video ministry. If you would like to be a part of that outreach, please send your check to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church; 2296 Date Street; St. James City, Florida, 33956. On your check’s “memo” or “for” line, write video. Our treasurer will then know where to direct your gift. Building fund, or general fund gifts should also be marked accordingly. Thank you for helping us with what I believe will be an exciting outreach for our church.

Have a good and a safe week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.